Paintbrushes and Pigment

Still life oil painting of paintbrushes and pigments by Helen Davison

‘Paintbrushes and Pigment’. Oil on card, 8″ x 6″

This unexpected little still life only happened because my portrait model couldn’t make it for our sitting. I toyed with going home or reading a book, but once I got started I really enjoyed working on this.

What began as quite a bright afternoon soon darkened, and by 4 o’clock it was difficult to see what I was doing. As a result this was painted very rapidly and I have since wrestled with whether or not to refine the more unresolved areas in another session – sharpening some of the brushes and adding greater definition here and there. Currently I am settled on leaving it alone. It was a relatively quick sketch and inherent in that is a loose immediacy that has its own value. The danger in trying to improve is always that you in fact destroy. On this occasion, it’s a risk I don’t really see the point in making. I like things well enough as they are.